Playa La Poza del Obispo – Arecibo, Puerto Rico - Atlas Obscura

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Playa La Poza del Obispo

This beach pool offers a spectacle of crashing waves, blue hues, and a historical lighthouse. 


Playa Poza Del Obispo is a natural pool located on the coast of Arecibo. Hidden behind Arecibo’s Lighthouse, La Poza del Obispo is a shallow beach pool, formed by a natural wall of rock formations through which the water reaches the coast. 

La Poza del Obispo means “the Bishop’s Pool,” a name that was given in honor of the Puerto Rican Bishop, Juan Alejo de Arizmendi y de la Torre. It’s said Arizmendi was returning from the Dominican Republic when his ship capsized close to Arecibo’s coast. Luckily, he survived.

Part of the attraction of this beach is the spectacle made by the waves crashing against the rock formations. Every time a large wave hits the rocks, the water foams and a spray falls over the people inside La Poza del Obispo. When the sea is calm, the waters in La Poza del Obispo are much like a pool. Primed for snorkeling, colorful fish swim around the beach and hide underneath the rocks. The space for sunbathing is wide but there aren’t many shaded spots, so visitors should wear sunscreen. Occasionally, piragua sellers will visit the beach, so you can enjoy a traditional snack while sunbathing.

La Poza del Obispo is a nesting site, so it’s possible to find turtle nests during the nesting season. Los Amigos de la Poza is a group of volunteers that work along with the Department of Natural Resources of Puerto Rico to protect the site and keep the beach clean and free to the public.

When sitting in front of La Poza del Obispo, it’s possible to see part of the Lighthouse of Arecibo, also known as Los Morrillos Lighthouse (not to be confused with the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse). This was the last lighthouse built by the Spaniards on the island in 1898 before Puerto Rico became a non-incorporated territory of the United States. Los Morrillos Lighthouse is inside the Arecibo Lighthouse and Historical Park, which offers visitors an interactive tour through the history of Puerto Rico since the Pre-Columbian Era.

Know Before You Go

Although it’s a shallow pool, La Poza del Obispo can be unsafe for swimming under hazardous weather conditions. Do not climb the rock formations around the pool. Many accidents happen because people get dragged by waves and drown. The beach doesn’t have any facilities or rentals, so visitors should bring everything necessary for a beach day. Outside La Poza del Obispo, along the beach, the strong current provides excellent waves for surfing and boogie boarding, but it's not for swimming.

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